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Client: Seneca College
Founded in 1967, Toronto-based Seneca College has graduated over 175,000 students since its inception, proudly seeing them go on to be successful executives, senators, pilots, fashion designers, police officers, broadcasters and entrepreneurs. With its student population growing, Seneca had always offered financial assistance to students who needed the support. Scholarships, bursaries and student aid were often funded by donations from alumni and sponsors. To boost financial donations among college alumni and make post-secondary education more affordable for current students, Seneca College reached out to napkin marketing to take their message and story to alumni, who now ranged from Baby Boomers to Millennials, as a potential source of support for the future.
Objective: napkin marketing stepped up to the task to help engage Seneca Alumni and motivate them to “give back by paying it forward” to their alma mater. To engage Seneca College’s alumni and link their past generation with current Seneca students, napkin marketing, in collaboration with Seneca’s Advancement and Alumni team, developed a digital and social media marketing campaign with the theme “Pay It Forward.”
Tactics: The campaign involved creating Pay It Forward branding and infographics, an email “drip campaign”, Facebook and Google display ads and remarketing for visitors to the alumni website. In addition, napkin marketing created an animated online clock in the email campaigns that counted down to the donations deadline, as Seneca would unlock a matched donation during that period of time to create a sense of urgency and prompt action.
Content Strategy: For relevant, compelling content, the messaging shared true, personal stories, based on video interviews with Seneca students about how financial aid had helped make a difference in their lives.
Showing retro 1960s and ‘70s photos from Seneca’s archives made the stories of Alumni and their connection to today’s Seneca students come alive. This approach also provided powerful social proof from real people, which aimed to build alumni’s trust that their money would go toward students in need.
To make donations attractive, and make donating convenient, the email content offered various ways to give, experimenting with A/B testing of list segments, creative and subject lines. The campaigns aimed to make alumni feel good about helping the current generation of students fund their education so students could focus on learning.
Earning record-breaking donations, Seneca’s digital marketing campaign exceeded its target. Moreover, the Pay It Forward campaign yielded meaningful marketing insights which Seneca will apply to future campaigns.
Thanks to napkin marketing’s effective Pay It Forward marketing campaign, we built deeper relationships with our alumni, connected them with today’s students and helped more students fund their post-secondary education – so everyone wins.
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see who we are and what we do